Vidya Sankar

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, United States

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Publications (24)90.4 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Classification criteria provide a formalized approach to studying course and management of rheumatic disease, as well as a measure of improvement in care. Understanding the purposes of classification criteria sets and the differences between different classification criteria is crucial for understanding rheumatic disease and for the design and conduct of clinical and epidemiologic investigations. In this article, the similarities and differences between the American-European Consensus Group Criteria (AECG) and the newly proposed American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria for Sjögren's syndrome and the clinical implications of switching to the ACR classification criteria from the AECG are described.
    Oral and maxillofacial surgery clinics of North America 02/2014; 26(1):13-22.
  • Michaell A Huber, Vidya Sankar
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    ABSTRACT: The early identification and treatment of cancer of the head and neck, including oropharyngeal cancer (OPC), is associated with an improved survival rate. Specific efforts to promote screening to improve the early detection of OPC have come under scrutiny, largely due to the low prevalence of the disease. However, screening the patient for OPC does not occur as an isolated event in contemporary practice, but as an integral component of the hard and soft tissue examination to determine the totality of the patient's oral health. Three patient vignettes are presented to demonstrate that, regardless the outcome of the debate over OPC screening, the oral health care professional who performs a thorough examination of the head and neck is often in the best position to discover early cancer affecting the head and neck.
    Texas dental journal 05/2013; 130(5):426-34.
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    ABSTRACT: There are few topical formulations used for oral medicine applications most of which have been developed for the management of dermatological conditions. As such, numerous obstacles are faced when utilizing these preparations in the oral cavity, namely enzymatic degradation, taste, limited surface area, poor tissue penetration and accidental swallowing. In this review, we discuss common mucosal diseases such as oral cancer, mucositis, vesiculo-erosive conditions, infections, neuropathic pain and salivary dysfunction, which could benefit from topical delivery systems designed specifically for the oral mucosa, which are capable of sustained release. Each condition requires distinct penetration and drug retention profiles in order to optimize treatment and minimize side effects. Local drug delivery may provide a more targeted and efficient drug-delivery option than systemic delivery for diseases of the oral mucosa. We identify those mucosal diseases currently being treated, the challenges that must be overcome and the potential of novel therapies. Novel biological therapies such as macromolecular biological drugs, peptides and gene therapy may be of value in the treatment of many chronic oral conditions and thus in oral medicine if their delivery can be optimized.
    Oral Diseases 04/2011; 17 Suppl 1:73-84. · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The oral mucosa's accessibility, excellent blood supply, by-pass of hepatic first-pass metabolism, rapid repair and permeability profile make it an attractive site for local and systemic drug delivery. Technological advances in mucoadhesives, sustained drug release, permeability enhancers and drug delivery vectors are increasing the efficient delivery of drugs to treat oral and systemic diseases. When treating oral diseases, these advances result in enhanced therapeutic efficacy, reduced drug wastage and the prospect of using biological agents such as genes, peptides and antibodies. These technologies are also increasing the repertoire of drugs that can be delivered across the oral mucosa to treat systemic diseases. Trans-mucosal delivery is now a favoured route for non-parenteral administration of emergency drugs and agents where a rapid onset of action is required. Furthermore, advances in drug delivery technology are bringing forward the likelihood of transmucosal systemic delivery of biological agents.
    Advanced drug delivery reviews 02/2011; 64(1):16-28. · 11.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Saliva plays a critical role in maintaining oral health and comfort. Development of a single device capable of simulating salivary flow with no taste or adverse side effects is desirable. This clinical investigation on 23 healthy volunteers with no dry mouth complaints evaluated the effectiveness of ultrasonic therapy in mechanical stimulation of the parotid gland to increase saliva flow. Stimulated and unstimulated parotid saliva was collected. Differences in mean salivary flow rates and affects of age and ethnicity were measured. The mean difference between stimulated and unstimulated saliva flow rates was 0.009 mL/min +/- SD = 0.042, t (df = 22) = 1.27 with P = .31. There were no significant differences of age (P = .26), gender (P = .38), or race/ethnicity (P = .58) for the difference of stimulated and unstimulated conditions. Results indicate that high-frequency low-intensity ultrasound therapy is not effective in stimulating salivary flow rates.
    Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology 09/2008; 106(5):e16-9. · 1.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To provide insight into the clinical failure of the tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) inhibitor, etanercept, in primary Sjögren syndrome (pSS), an extensive analysis of the systemic immune profile of patients with pSS was carried out and the effect of etanercept treatment on these immune parameters monitored. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with pSS and healthy controls were compared by flow cytometry to determine differences in distribution of specific cell populations (T cells, B cells, monocytes), and to determine their expression of activation markers (CD25, HLA-DR), TNF receptors and chemokine receptors (CXCR1, 2) before and after treatment. Systemic cytokine levels were measured by multiplex ELISA assay in plasma and in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated whole blood from healthy controls and from patients with pSS before and after etanercept treatment. Baseline cytokine levels were correlated with clinical markers of disease. Before treatment, salivary gland inflammatory focus scores did not correlate with circulating TNF levels. Furthermore, consistent with the lack of evidence of significant clinical benefit, enhanced markers of immune activation, frequency of cell subpopulations and aberrant cytokine profiles were not restored to normal levels by etanercept treatment. Remarkably, the levels of circulating TNFalpha were significantly increased after treatment. Etanercept is an ineffective therapeutic agent in pSS consistent with the absence of suppression of TNFalpha and other indicators of immune activation in this patient population. These data suggest that TNFalpha may not be a pivotal cytokine in the pathogenesis of pSS, impelling continued molecular characterisation of disease parameters to define appropriate intervention targets.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 02/2008; 67(10):1437-43. · 9.27 Impact Factor
  • Vidya Sankar, H Stan McGuff
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    ABSTRACT: Dentists need to be aware of soft-tissue lesions resulting from cosmetic facial/lip procedures that involve the use of injectable materials. Common side effects detected on clinical examination may include edema, bruising and noninflammatory lip nodules. A 51-year-old woman visited a dental clinic with the chief complaint of a lump on the mucosal aspect of her lower lip. She reported having noted the lesion a few weeks before seeking care at the clinic. Several weeks later, the lesion persisted and new lesions were detected. The clinician excised the initial lesion only. The lip nodules were associated with a cosmetic procedure and were inflammatory in nature. This is the first granulomatous response reported as a result of injections with calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse, BioForm Medical, San Mateo, Calif.). Poor patient recollection of his or her medical history may result in confusion with pathological processes such as infection, neoplasia or malignancy.
    Journal of the American Dental Association (1939) 09/2007; 138(8):1093-6. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    Rheumatology 08/2006; · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Altered lipid levels may occur in autoimmune diseases, for example low cholesterol levels have been described in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Serum lipid profiles in patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS) have not been investigated. We hypothesized decreased lipid levels in SS patients and an inverse relationship with disease activity. Serum lipid levels [total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides] and additional data regarding disease measures (clinical immunology parameters, focus score from labial salivary gland biopsy, salivary flow and ophthalmological measures) were available for 46 primary SS patients and 12 xerostomic controls. Significant differences between SS patients and controls means (s.d.) were seen for HDL (P = 0.04) and total cholesterol (P = 0.02). LDL (P = 0.12) and triglyceride (P = 0.08) levels were not different. In SS patients, but not in controls, total cholesterol (P = 0.003) and HDL cholesterol (P = 0.003) predicted immunoglobulin G levels. Anti-SSA antibodies were related to a lower total cholesterol (P = 0.02) and anti-SSB antibodies to a lower HDL cholesterol level (P = 0.0497). Significant differences were seen in serum lipid levels of primary SS patients and these were associated with serological measures of inflammation. Our results are comparable to earlier findings in RA patients and raise questions related to adverse cardiovascular consequences in SS.
    Rheumatology 05/2006; 45(4):481-4. · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To identify histological features that distinguish amalgam-associated oral lichenoid reactions (AAOLR) from oral lichen planus (OLP). Oral pathologists provided their opinion as to the possibility of distinguishing AAOLR and OLP histologically, the features important in distinguishing AAOLR from OLP and the diagnosis of 12 AAOLR and 12 OLP cases including the features that drew them to their conclusion. There was considerable variation between pathologists in their ability to distinguish the AAOLR and OLP cases. The sensitivity and specificity for histological diagnosis were 40% and 32% respectively. There were four features that were used most commonly to discriminate between AAOLR and OLP: an inflammatory infiltrate located deep to superficial infiltrate in some or all areas; a focal perivascular infiltrate; plasma cells in the connective tissue and neutrophils in the connective tissue. Each was independently predictive of AAOLR or OLP (P < 0.028). This study confirms the uncertainty of the diagnostic histological differences between AAOLR and OLP. Distinguishing these conditions should not rely on histology alone, but should be based on a synthesis of all available information including history, examination, histopathology and skin patch testing.
    Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine 04/2006; 35(4):233-40. · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the immunological consequences of systemic thalidomide treatment in patients with Sjögren's syndrome. Cytokine (tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), interleukin (IL) 6) and soluble receptor (sIL2R) levels were measured in patient and control plasma (n = 7), before and after thalidomide treatment. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were examined by FACS analysis for potential changes in specific cell populations (T cells, B cells, monocytes), and for the expression of activation markers (CD25, HLA-DR), costimulatory molecules (CD40, CD40L), TNF receptors, chemokine receptors, and adhesion molecules (L-selectin (L-sel)). Owing to adverse effects of thalidomide, the treatment interval was limited. None the less, statistically significant changes in markers of cell activation were recorded in the four treated patients. Before treatment, HLA-DR, TNFRI, CXCRI, and CXCRII were raised in the patients compared with healthy controls (p<0.05) and their expression was down regulated after treatment. B cell numbers and expression of the adhesion molecule L-sel also declined with thalidomide. Significant changes in measures of cell activation were detected during thalidomide treatment within this limited study, which upon further investigation may offer insight into the underlying immunoregulatory pathways of thalidomide.
    Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 01/2006; 65(1):112-4. · 9.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CASE REPORT: Three patients presented to the Sjögren's syndrome (SS) Clinic at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for screening. The records of patients with SS with a diagnosis of lymphoma were examined to determine whether the diagnosis was made in any of the cases as a result of labial salivary gland (LSG) biopsies. All patients had typical features of primary SS according to the American-European Consensus Group criteria. B cell mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma was diagnosed based upon the LSG biopsy. CONCLUSION: This report underlines the advantages of performing LSG biopsies as a routine part of screening for SS, and shows that it may in some instances lead to early diagnosis of MALT lymphomas in patients who show no signs of pre-existing lymphoma.
    Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 04/2005; 64(3):471-3. · 9.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Congenital heart block occurring in the foetus and neonate may be associated with maternal anti-SS-A/anti-SS-B autoantibodies (anti-SSA/anti-SSB). The adult atrioventricular node is generally thought to be resistant to the damaging effects of anti-SSA/anti-SSB. However, case reports suggest that heart block developing in adult Sjögren's syndrome (SS) patients may be associated with these autoantibodies. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between serum antibodies and heart block in adult SS patients. We abstracted data from clinic patient records. Diagnosis of primary SS was based on American-European classification criteria. Electrocardiograms (EKGs), laboratory immunology parameters, lipid profiles, and focus scores from labial salivary gland biopsies were available for 51 SS patients. Fifteen patients had follow-up EKGs. PR interval200 ms was considered to be first-degree heart block. Five patients showed prolonged PR intervals; the presence of heart block was not related to the presence of anti-SSA antibodies. However, significant differences between patients with prolonged and normal PR intervals were seen for mean focus scores (p<0.0001), anti-cardiolipin immunoglobulin IgG (p = 0.0009), age (p = 0.01), IgG (p = 0.02), anti-SSB antibodies (p = 0.02), and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels (p = 0.03). These parameters correlated with prolonged PR intervals. These results suggest an association between disease activity, the presence of anti-SSB antibodies, and the occurrence of first-degree heart block in adults with primary SS.
    Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology 01/2005; 34(5):383-6. · 2.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To screen for potential efficacy and assess feasibility and safety of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) as a treatment for Sjögren's syndrome (SS). A 24-week randomized, double-blinded, pilot trial of oral DHEA (200 mg/day) versus placebo was conducted. The primary comparison was to a hypothesized 20% placebo response rate. If 14 consecutive subjects on DHEA did not respond, a Phase III trial would be considered futile. A placebo group of 14 subjects was planned to verify placebo response rate and estimate sample size required for a definitive trial. Response criteria required 20% improvement in at least 2 of 3 domains. Analysis of covariance was used to adjust for baseline differences and for stratified randomization. Outcome measures included visual analog scale questionnaires for dry eye and dry mouth symptoms, lissamine green ocular dye staining and Schirmer I tests, stimulated salivary flow, IgG, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Randomization resulted in 14 DHEA and 14 placebo group subjects. At baseline, mean +/- SD for DHEA versus placebo groups were Schirmer I tests 4.5 +/- 4.5 versus 5.4 +/- 6.1 mm/5 minutes; Van Bijsterveld score 5.3 +/- 2.1 versus 5.5 +/- 2.2; unstimulated saliva 0.03 +/- 0.05 versus 0.04 +/- 0.10 ml/minute; IgG 1,699 +/- 749 versus 1,712 +/- 621 g/dl; and ESR 40 +/- 31 versus 44 +/- 28 mm/hour. Apart from changes over the trial in dry mouth symptoms, no significant differences were noted between the DHEA and placebo groups for dry eye symptoms, objective measures of ocular dryness, stimulated salivary flow; IgG, or ESR. Four DHEA and one placebo group patient dropped out because of adverse effects. Although 7 subjects met response criteria in the DHEA group, 5 met the criteria in the placebo group, and there was no significant difference between groups. DHEA showed no evidence of efficacy in SS. Without evidence for efficacy, patients with SS should avoid using unregulated DHEA supplements, since long-term adverse consequences of exposure to this hormone are unknown.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 09/2004; 51(4):601-4. · 7.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the safety and potential efficacy of etanercept in the treatment of Sjögren's syndrome (SS). This pilot study was a 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of etanercept, with 14 subjects in each group. Patients received 25 mg of etanercept or placebo (vehicle) by twice-weekly subcutaneous injection. Patients met the American-European Consensus Group criteria for SS. The primary outcome required at least 20% improvement from baseline values for at least 2 of the following 3 domains: subjective or objective measures of dry mouth, subjective or objective measures of dry eyes, and IgG level or erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Of the 14 patients taking etanercept, 11 had primary SS and 3 had SS secondary to rheumatoid arthritis. Baseline measures did not differ between the 2 groups. Three etanercept-treated patients and 1 placebo-treated patient did not complete the trial. Five etanercept-treated patients and 3 placebo-treated patients showed improvement from baseline in the primary outcome variable at 12 weeks, but the difference was not statistically significant. There were no significant differences between the groups for changes in subjective measures of oral or ocular symptoms (by visual analog scale), the IgG level, Schirmer I test result, van Bijsterveld score, or salivary flow. At 12 weeks, the ESR had decreased in the etanercept group compared with baseline (P = 0.004); however, the mean reduction was only 18.6%. We found no evidence to suggest that treatment with etanercept at a dosage of 25 mg twice weekly for 12 weeks was clinically efficacious in SS. A larger trial will be necessary to definitively address the efficacy of etanercept in the treatment of SS.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 08/2004; 50(7):2240-5. · 7.87 Impact Factor
  • Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology 04/2004; 97(4):454-454.
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to investigate the prevalence of Candida carriage and the relationships between salivary flow rates and oral Candida load in patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS). The oral Candida load of patients with SS was evaluated by culturing oral rinse (swish and spit) samples. Culture, Gram stain, and wet-mount test results were reported. One hundred three patients (96 women) met European criteria for SS (91 with primary SS and 12 with secondary SS). The mean age (95% confidence interval) was 55 years (range, 51-57 years). Oral rinse cultures were positive in 77% of subjects. The total stimulated salivary flow rate was inversely correlated with oral Candida load (r = -0.47; P </=.0001). The oral rinse samples yielded gram-positive results in 38% of patients with SS, and the Fungi-Fluor assay (wet mount) results were positive in 49%. The prevalence of Candida carriage varies according to the methods used to determine the presence of the organism and is similar to that reported in the literature. A low stimulated salivary flow rate-not a low unstimulated flow rate-was associated with Candida carriage.
    Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology 10/2003; 96(3):283-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Objective We sought to investigate the prevalence of Candida carriage and the relationships between salivary flow rates and oral Candida load in patients with Sjögren’s syndrome (SS).
    Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontology 09/2003; 96(3):283-287.
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the relationships between concentrations of sex hormones and measures of disease activity in patients with primary Sjögren's Syndrome (pSS). Fifty-four women were evaluated: 39 patients (age, Q1,Q3: 57.0 yrs; 46, 66) diagnosed with pSS and 15 patients (49.0 yrs; 45, 60) who did not meet diagnostic criteria for pSS. The following measures of disease activity were assessed: serological data [antinuclear antibody, rheumatoid factor, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), serum immunoglobulin levels (IgG, IgA, IgM), serum protein, anti-SSA, and anti-SSB], labial minor salivary gland focus score, salivary flow rates, and objective measures of eye dryness (fluorescein corneal staining and unstimulated Schirmer's I test). Spearman correlations were calculated between these indices of disease activity and serum levels of sex hormones: dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA sulfate, androstenedione, testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone, estradiol, and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Numerous differences were noted between cases and controls with disease activity measures. All median values of sex steroid hormones were within the range of normal for pSS cases. Positive correlations were noted between testosterone and ESR (r = 0.36, p = 0.03), testosterone and serum protein (r = 0.37, p = 0.05), and testosterone and focus score (r = 0.44, p = 0.007). Negative correlations were present between SHBG and anti-SSA (r = -0.33, p = 0.05), SHBG and anti-SSB (r = -0.43, p = 0.009), and DHT and CRP (r = -0.41, p = 0.05). No correlations were noted between estrogens and measures of pSS disease activity. Higher levels of disease activity (ESR, serum protein, and focus score) were associated with higher concentrations of testosterone. No correlation between disease activity and estrogens was found.
    The Journal of Rheumatology 07/2003; 30(6):1267-71. · 3.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To test the ability of two cationic lipoplexes, Vaxfectin and GAP-DLRIE/DOPE, to facilitate transfection and elicit immune responses from plasmid DNAs (pDNAs) after retrograde instillation into salivary glands. Two pDNA expression vectors encoding either the influenza NP protein or human growth hormone (hGH) were complexed with the cationic lipid transfection reagents, GAP-DLRIE/DOPE or Vaxfectin, and delivered to the submandibular glands of rats. Samples from rats receiving the influenza NP protein pDNA and cationic lipoplexes were analyzed for anti-influenza NP-specific IgG1, IgG2a, and IgG2b in serum, and IgA in saliva, by an enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Cytotoxic T-cell lymphocyte (CTL) assays were also performed. Transgene protein expression (hGH) was determined from extracts of submandibular glands of rats receiving hGH lipoplexes. Serum antibodies (IgG) against the NP protein developed and were highest in all rats vaccinated with GAP-DLRIE/DOPE or Vaxfectin. The major serum IgG subclass stimulated by this route of immunization was IgG2b, followed by IgG2a. CTL assay results showed statistically significantly higher percentage killing in the Vaxfectin group than controls (P < 0.05). No rats developed IgA antibodies to NP protein in saliva. Animals receiving plasmid encoding hGH and either lipoplex expressed significantly higher amounts of hGH compared with those receiving the hGH plasmid and water. Although hGH expression was higher in the animals receiving pDNA/Vaxfectin (approximately 30-fold > pDNA/water), the difference with those receiving pDNA/GAP-DLRIE/DOPE (approximately 10-fold > pDNA/water) was not significant. Retrograde instillation of pDNA complexed with Vaxfectin into the salivary glands can stimulate cytotoxic and humoral responses to the influenza NP protein antigen. Optimization of the conditions required to stimulate humoral and secretory antibody formation may facilitate use of this tissue for specific clinical applications of pDNA immunization.
    Oral Diseases 11/2002; 8(6):275-81. · 2.40 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

390 Citations
90.40 Total Impact Points


  • 2006–2014
    • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
      • • Department of Comprehensive Dentistry
      • • Department of Pathology
      San Antonio, Texas, United States
  • 2000–2005
    • National Institutes of Health
      Maryland, United States
  • 2003
    • University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
      Buffalo, New York, United States